There is one important factor to remember whenever you are
involved in improving the organic rankings of a website, and that factor
is time. One of the most common questions is “How long till I start to
see results?” This article is dedicated to anyone who has ever asked
It doesn’t matter what industry you are involved in, or what
techniques you follow, in all cases you will be a prisoner of time. In
the vast majority of cases search engine rankings don’t come over night.
Regardless of the scope of the SEO campaign you are undertaking, you
will have to wait for results. It doesn’t matter if you are undertaking a
massive link building & social media campaign combined with extreme
content development – you will still have to wait for those results.
Just how long you need to wait however, will depend on a large number of
How long it will take for rankings starts with a few key factors:
How optimized is your site before SEO?
If your established site has no optimization in place at all, and has
navigation that is blocking search engine spiders, sometimes opening the
site up can result in a rather quick turn-around for results.
How many inbound links does your site have?
If you have an old site with no links, this will add to the time you
need to wait. If you have a number of links already, Google will
probably be in to check out things within a week or so of updating.
How new is your website?
A brand new site with no links has to wait. Google may find you, but
probably not. If you do nothing, your site may not ever be indexed – you
must get a few links, and an XML sitemap if you want to stand a chance
with a new site.
How flexible is your site?
If your site utilises a content management system, how flexible is this
system for customization? If your current back end will not allow for
SEO based changes, this will drastically slow down your ranking
How competitive is your target phrase?
This is huge. The more competitive a target phrase is, the longer you
will likely have to wait, and the more links, pages, and fresh content
you will probably need. Picking a target phrase that has searches, but
modest competition is your best bet to get started. As long as your
“dream phrase” is relevant, you can go after the bigger fish once your
site has some links, content, and has started to find its place on the
Is your site positioned to be able to compete?
Take a look at the top 10 sites for your target phrase. If on average
the ranking sites have 10,000 inbound links and 1,000 plus pages, and
your site has 7 links and 12 pages, you’re likely doomed. You don’t need
to match the numbers of the top 10, but you do need to be in the ball
park. If the top 10 is littered with all the big guys like Amazon, eBay,
and the dreaded Wikipedia, you might just want to consider reevaluating
your goals. If your site is not in a comparable position with the rest
of the top 10, then you need to either step up your efforts in order to
compete, or plan on waiting a very long time.
How long it takes to start seeing results starts with Google. Once
Google spiders your site you will still have to wait for the updated
cache to appear in Google’s index, and in most cases, you will have to
wait longer still to see any impact in the search rankings. In most
cases getting Google to your site is relatively easy, but it can
sometimes take a month or longer.
Even a site with some inbound links and an XML sitemap, may have to
wait a while. Typically an established active website will seldom have
to wait more than a month to get Google’s eyes; however, if your site
has been sitting stagnant for several years, it may take longer.